Obituary, poetry written by SmithaV at



written by: SmithaV



I’ve started reading the pages at the end of the newspaper-
The one with the photographs-
Sometimes stamp sized, sometimes bigger
The faces look back at me
Some smiling, some solemn
But rarely ever sad
I wonder if they were truly as happy

or is it a one-off moment captured
and shared for strangers like me to see
I don’t read the date of birth or bother counting the age
But the words written, I read them carefully
Those that talk of remembrances, memories and love for the dead
And I read the names of the persons and their relationship
“Why do you care so much?”

I would say when I was younger
“Why do you read an obituary grandma?
It’s an incredible waste of money don’t you think
to put a photograph in a paper
That will end up in a bin
or reused by a street vendor
rolled up into a cone for packing roasted peanuts

or wrapping raw mangoes
drizzled with Himalayan salt and chilli from Kashmir?”
Granny would laugh
And simply say, ‘You’ll understand one day,’
and continue with her ‘past-time’ so I called it
head-bent and eyes squinting
‘Was she looking for someone?’ I often wondered

A lost love, a friend or a distanced family member
Decades later I found my answer
Browsing through pictures of people I did not know-
Who were here once, like I am today
Creating bonds and touching lives.
and making a difference to someone
That someone who now proclaims to all

Stranger or familiar, he doesn’t care
who reads it
He needs to share
that- ‘While life goes on, here was a man
who is remembered long after he’s been gone.’



Smitha Vishwanath is a banker turned writer. She began her writing journey in 2016 through her blog. Thieving Magpies, Spillwords Press, Silverbirch Press, Borderless Journal, and Rebelle Society have published her poetry. In 2019, her poem, 'Omid' was nominated for Best of the Net and her poems, 'Do you have dreams?' and 'Forgotten' were given special mention in NaPoWriMo, 2021 and 2022, hosted by Maureen Thomson. In addition, she was awarded the Reuel International Prize for poetry by the online group TSL. In 2019, she co-authored a book of poetry, 'Roads- A journey with Verses', which received positive reviews. Smitha's writing is peppered with the lessons learned from the plethora of invaluable experiences that come from having lived in India, UAE and Iran, worked in a multi-cultural environment and travelled widely. She resides in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing, you can find her painting, travelling, or sharing reviews of books she has read on Goodreads, Amazon, and her blog. She is excited about her debut novel, 'Coming Home', which will be released on 18th March 2023.

Latest posts by SmithaV (see all)